HDR Photography – Make Use of it or Stay Well Clear? Scott Kelby’s Got His Opinions


There are Some Very Real Benefits to HDR Photography

When you hear “HDR” and someone trying to sell you on the idea of how there are actually great benefits of HDR photography, you might be inclined to switch off and randomly notice that airplane flying over or just reply with a: “it's not my style” kind of answer.

Those thoughts pop into your head about desperately over-done HDR images people might depict as “art”. Can't say I blame you.

On the other hand, if you already make use of HDR techniques in your post software workflow, it could be something you say has really saved your a$$ a number of times and you don't know how you'd cope without it available at your disposal.

benefits of HDR photography
Image by David Mark

Either way, until camera sensors are at the point where their Dynamic Range has developed to such a level where bracketed exposures are no longer necessary, HDR will be hanging around. The main benefits of HDR photography are that you can recover lost details from both highlights and shadows to produce a single image close to what the human eye would see.

In the following video, Scott Kelby runs through developing an image in Lightroom CC using the Merge to HDR feature of this stunning concert hall. Using the exposures of three separate images (under exposed, regular exposure, over exposed), a beautiful wide-angle image is produced.

He does explain part way through the video how the Highlight Slider, when used to pull back the blown out whites of the main chandelier in the image, it begins to produce gray tones and not reveal the clean detail an HDR merge would.

He explains, merging bracketed exposures like this is not “crazy, wild, over the top HDR” – which is exactly what MOST photographers are looking for as the main benefits of HDR photography. Take Real Estate photographers for example, it's becoming almost a “must” tool for many.

HDR gets a bad rap, mainly because searching HDR in Google or Flickr or any other search will just overload you with messy and in-your-face photos which just make you think this thought: “Why?”

Enjoy the video and appreciate how when it's done right, HDR techniques can produce an evenly balanced photograph which looks stunning.

Further Resources

Further Learning

Aside from those excellent materials above, this extensive course guide by Jimmy McIntyre explores the “Art of HDR Photography”.
He'll show the ropes to producing stunning HDR images that truly “wow” your audience, friends and peers!

About Author

Russell is a self-taught photographer who loves travel and capturing life as it unfolds. Having lived in the far east for a few years with some long term travel, this catalyzed his new-found passion for photography.
Lifestyle, Food, and Event Photography are areas he enjoys most.

I shoot in raw and use virtual copies and Lightroom’s HDR merge to expand dynamic range without bracketing. Are there advantages to bracketing that i haven’t worked out?

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